Thursday, October 19, 2017

Death threats against Hawaii judge who blocked Trump travel ban, former HPD Chief Kealoha targeted in FBI probe, state socks away money for rainy day, Kauai mulls general excise tax hike, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii judge who blocked new Trump travel ban gets death threats. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson has been assigned a 24-hour protection detail after receiving numerous death threats for blocking President Trump's latest travel ban. Hawaii News Now.

courtesy U.S. District Court
Watson
Hawaii state government has tucked away enough in cash reserves to weather the next “moderate” recession, according to the economic research firm Moody’s Analytics. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Superferry? Hawaii Economic Association Panel Says, "No." It’s been nearly a decade since the Superferry made its inaugural voyage to Kahului, Maui.   And, the feasibility of another interisland ferry came up during the Hawai’i Economic Association annual conference last week. Hawaii Public Radio.

Why Does This Guy Make Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz Nervous? Barry Myers is Trump’s nominee to head NOAA but the Hawaii senator says he is “questionable choice.” Civil Beat.

Hawaii has the 27th most competitive tax code in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation’s 2018 State Business Tax Climate Index. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii’s timeshare industry contributed approximately $5.3 billion in consumer and business spending in 2016, according to a recent study conducted by Ernst & Young for the American Resort Development Association Hawaii. Pacific Business News.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday, but the Hawaii franchisee says the filing has nothing to do with the two local restaurants. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s two Romano’s Macaroni Grill franchises won’t be impacted after the national chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Oahu

Search warrant executed at Kealoha homes amid corruption probe. Criminal investigators with the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed search warrants at homes belonging to former Honolulu police chief Louis Kealoha and his deputy prosecutor wife Katherine Wednesday morning, the latest turn in a years-long federal investigation into public corruption at some of the highest levels of Oahu's law enforcement. Hawaii News Now.

FBI executes search warrant of Kealohas’ home as third police officer arrested this week. Federal authorities are making their case even more clear. KHON2.

Court documents filed by federal attorneys Wednesday indicate they intend to charge retired Honolulu police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, city Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, as part of their two-year-long case alleging a criminal conspiracy at the Police Department. Star-Advertiser.

Key points in criminal filings. The criminal complaint filed Wednesday against Honolulu police Lt. Derek Hahn clearly identify retired police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, city Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, as alleged co-conspirators in the federal investigation into corruption within the Honolulu Police Department. Star-Advertiser.

An FBI affidavit unsealed in U.S. District Court today details how officers close to the former chief of the Honolulu Police Department allegedly conspired to frame the uncle of his wife. Star-Advertiser.

FBI Reveals New Details About The Alleged Honolulu Police Conspiracy. A police lieutenant is the latest arrest in the unfolding story of alleged corruption in the Honolulu Police Department. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Police Lt. Derek Hahn was released on a $50,000 signature bond this afternoon several hours after being arrested by FBI agents in connection with the federal investigation of retired HPD Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine. Star-Advertiser.

The FBI arrested Honolulu police officer Derek Hahn on Wednesday in connection with an ongoing federal corruption investigation targeting Hawaii law enforcement. Civil Beat.

Police Commission Chair is optimistic HPD will have new chief by end of month. Despite Police Commission Chair Max Sword recusing himself from the selection process, he was front and center Wednesday in reassuring the media that HPD will be under the command of a new chief by the end of the month. Hawaii News Now.

Nominees to Honolulu Police Commission will not help choose new chief. Five days before the first day of interviews for the seven finalists for Honolulu Police Chief, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced two nominees to fill the vacancies on Honolulu Police Commission. KITV.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell nominated Wednesday two businesspeople to serve on the Honolulu Police Commission. Karen Chang and Gerard “Jerry” Gibson were nominated to fill the vacancies left by Luella Costales and Marc Tilker. Star-Advertiser.

Caldwell Names Two New Honolulu Police Commissioners. But the two won’t be on board in time to help with the selection of a new police chief, under the current timeline. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has nominated Jerry Gibson and Karen Chang to serve on the volunteer Honolulu Police Commission, pending confirmation by the Honolulu City Council. Pacific Business News.

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Stranded Waikiki fishing vessel raises illegal immigration concerns. Federal immigration officials are now investigating the fishing boat that ran aground with 20 people on board in Waikiki last week. Hawaii News Now.

Video: Honolulu rail cars go on test run. Local transit officials have released footage of Honolulu’s rail cars running under their own power for the first time on the elevated guideway. Star-Advertiser.

One of the city's four-car rail trains reached 40 miles per hour in a speed test Wednesday. And officials are optimistic that it will be able to soon reach its top speed. Hawaii News Now.

Another new condominium tower has opened in Kakaako as the wave of development continues to break over the urban Honolulu area. Star-Advertiser.

The Howard Hughes Corp. on Wednesday marked the completion of the 317-unit Anaha in Honolulu, its second luxury mixed-use condominium tower in the developer’s Ward Village in Kakaako, with a traditional Hawaiian blessing. Pacific Business News.

Target opened its newest Hawaii store at Ala Moana Center on Wednesday. Pacific Business News.

Honolulu-based construction company Tunista Services LLC on Wednesday received a $7.4 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense for operations, maintenance and support services at Melrose Air Force Range in New Mexico. Pacific Business News.

Pride month hits Honolulu promoting equality, celebrating love. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

The board charged with hiring the county Human Resources director will seek applications from the public, rather than limit its search to current county employees. West Hawaii Today.

A County Council resolution wants United States leaders to use diplomacy in dealing with the crisis on the Korean Peninsula. Big Island Video News.

Airbnb use growing exponentially for Ironman. Altogether, the company reported, arrivals to the island for the weekend netted Hawaii Island hosts $584,000 — about $350 for the typical host — with hosts in West Hawaii collectively earning $483,000, or $430 for the typical host during the event. West Hawaii Today.

Five more alala were released into the wilderness near Hilo last week, joining the six young Hawaiian crows that were introduced to the forest there at the end of September. Star-Advertiser.

Maui


Former worker slaps county with $1.63M discrimination suit. Robert Straub alleges he was fired when 71 years old and replaced by ‘substantially younger person’ Maui News.

A discrimination complaint involving an alleged denial of reasonable accommodation for an employee with a disability was settled for $35,000 in July. Maui News.

Pharmlab Hawaii LLC in Kahului became the second independent laboratory in Hawaii certified to test medical marijuana produced by licensed dispensaries and is expected to begin analyzing material for content and safety by the end of the week, according to state Health Department and lab officials. Maui News.

The County of Maui Department of Finance announced it will be holding a real property tax sale on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 and will continue the sale on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 if necessary. Maui Now.

Kauai

At Wednesday’s county council committee meeting, members discussed the possibility of increasing the general excise tax by a half percent to provide essential funding for rebuilding infrastructure, repairing roads, reconstructing bridges and improving public transport. Garden Island.

Kauai Powerlines Are Killing 1,800 Seabirds A Year. An analysis by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service predicts that all colonies of two endangered bird species on the island could vanish as early as 2050. Civil Beat.

Shearwaters, Hawaiian Petrels could be wiped out in 30 years. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released an analysis that estimates 1,800 endangered seabirds on Kauai are killed by collisions with power lines every year. Hawaii News Now.

Three ao released at Lydgate Park. The ‘a’o, or Newell’s shearwater perched on Hana Montgomery’s hands flew right into the sand four or five times before it took to the skies Wednesday morning. Garden Island.

A scientific analysis completed for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity estimates that 1,800 endangered seabirds are killed by collisions with power lines on Kauai every year. KITV.

The U.S. Navy has scheduled a public meeting on Kauai regarding its proposal for training and testing that includes the use of sonar and explosives. Garden Island.